His legacy won't soon be forgotten.
2020 saw the loss of legendary Porsche engine builder, Hans Mezger. In 2021, the automotive industry says goodbye to another legend, Bruce Meyers, who passed away at age 94. Best remembered for creating the Meyers Manx, Meyers was a surfer, inventor, artist, war hero, and racecar driver who altered the course of automotive culture with his Volkswagen Beetle-based off-road buggy.
Meyers' company only produced 7,000 of the original fiberglass-bodied Meyers Manx vehicles, but his design became the basis on which nearly all "dune buggies" were built. Sources believe that around 250,000 Meyers-inspired buggies have been built worldwide.
Meyers returned home to Los Angeles after World War II and began building boats using a new material called fiberglass. After noting many of his fellow Californians using Volkswagen Beetles off-road, he came up with the idea for the Myers Manx. Using the Beetle's floorplan and running gear, he created the first dune buggy that he called "Old Red."
"It was a phenomenal success," Meyers said back in 2017. "Suddenly everybody wanted this happy little car. It's a visualization of friendship and love."
A few years later, Meyers took Old Red to Mexico, winning the race he would later help transform into the Baja 1000. He later founded his own company to build the Myers Manx, but was later forced to close the business after copycat versions flooded the market.
Myers' legacy was even set to live on in the electric era when Volkswagen released a retro-themed concept car called the ID Buggy. Based on the running gear of the Volkswagen ID.4, the ID Buggy looked like it would carry on the Meyers Manx legacy well into the future. Unfortunately, latest reports suggest that the ID Buggy project has been scrapped. Instead, VW may release a modern electric variant of the Kubelwagen (also known as the Thing) using some of the ID Buggy engineering work.